The interrelationships between the six component parts are illustrated in Fig 1.3.
However, one must also visualize the research and development programme which is designed to gradually improve the overall efficiency of the fermentation. Before a fermentation process is established a producer organism has to be isolated, modified such that it produces the desired product in commercial quantities, its cultural requirements determined and the plant designed accordingly. Also, the extraction process has to be established. The development programme would involve the continual improvement of the process organism, the culture medium and the extraction process.
The subsequent chapters in this book consider the basic principles underlying the component parts of a fermentation. Chapter 2 considers growth, comprehension of which is crucial to understanding many aspects of the process, other than simply the growth of the organism in the production fermenter. The isolation and improvement of commercial strains is considered in Chapter 3 and the design of media in Chapter 4. The sterilization of the medium, fermenters and air is considered in Chapter 5 and the techniques for the development of inocula are discussed in Chapter 6. Chapters 7, 8 and 9 consider the fermenter as an environment for the culture of micro-organisms; Chapter 7 considers the design and construction of fermenters including contained systems and animal cell fermenters, Chapter 8 discusses the instrumentation involved in monitoring and maintaining a controlled environment in a fer menter, while the provision of oxygen to a culture is investigated in Chapter 9. The recovery of fermentation products is dealt with in Chapter 10 and the disposal of effluents of processes is covered in Chapter 11. Finally, the economics of fermentation processes are discussed in Chapter 12. Throughout the book examples are drawn from a very wide range of fermentations to illustrate the applications of the techniques being discussed but it has not been attempted to give detailed considerations of specific processes as this is well covered elsewhere, for example in the Biotechnology series edited by Rehm and Reed. We hope that the approach adopted in this book will give the reader an understanding of the basic principles underlying the techniques used for the large-scale production of microbial products.
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